Here’s one for the books: The Queensland government has dismissed the suggestion that the planned Queens Wharf casino and resort in Brisbane will give rise to domestic violence cases in the area.
The issue came after state opposition leader Lawrence Springborg questioned Attorney General Yvette D’Ath and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman if they are aware “of the many studies that establish a root cause link between problem gambling and domestic violence” during a debate in the State Parliament, abc.net.au reported.
Other opposition MPs followed Springborg’s line of questioning, but D’Ath immediately shut them down, telling them, “it’s not in our casinos where we have the biggest problems.”
“It is in fact in our local communities. It is our pensioners who are going down to our local clubs,” the attorney general said, according to the report. “I am absolutely amazed that with everything that has been going on in this state [in relation to domestic violence] that our discussion here in parliament today is about gambling and gaming machines.”
Last July, Echo Entertainment beat rival Crown Resorts for the right to build a new casino in Brisbane.
Sydney-based Echo is planning to relocate its Treasury casino and 1,600 poker machines to the planned Queens Wharf precinct, transforming the Treasury into a shopping center and a Ritz Carlton hotel.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said details for the new casino, including the number of poker machines, are still being ironed out.
“It’s up to 2,500 machines that both proponents were allowed to have,” Palaszczuk said, according to The Courier Mail. “The final details will still be worked out but if it had gone to the other proponent (Crown) then they would have had to purchase machines from places out in the community.”
The $2 billion project will also feature a Sky Deck, with restaurants and bars accessible to public, and five hotels—including three six-star hotels, 50 restaurants and bars, a new River Arena and a moonlight cinema.
Echo has partnered with Hong Kong-based firms Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium for the Queens Wharf project. The construction phase is expected to begin in 2017 and will be completed in 2022.
“Construction means thousands of jobs. Some 3,000 during construction and 8,000 ongoing jobs,” said Palaszczuk.